Jay Dee's Top 10 Favorite WrestleMania Matches
WrestleMania 25 is only one week away, and I for one am excited to see how this year's Super Bowl of Wrestling shapes up.
With it being the 25th anniversary of the huge event, we can expect the WWE to pull out all stops to make this one a very memorable one.
Each WrestleMania has managed to leave a mark on the industry either with unforgettable moments or, and most importantly, high caliber matches.
So with that in mind, I took some time out and thought about what my favorite WrestleMania matches were. So here are my Top 10 Favorite Bouts at the Granddaddy of'em All.
Honorable Mention: Money In The Bank, WrestleMania 21
The first ever Money In The Bank match and, in my humble opinion, the best one.
This match featured several great talents, such as Chris Jericho, Shelton Benjamin, Christian, Chris Benoit, and Edge. All of these men where undoubtedly on top of their game, but Shelton Benjamin was the absolute star.
His top of the ladder T-Bone slam and the incredible ladder run clothesline on Jericho are two images that will constantly run through my head. Why he hasn't one one of these yet still boggles my mind.
This match will mainly be remembered, however, as the match were "The Rated R Superstar" emerged. He won the first Money In The Bank and would use it to kick start his career in the main event for years to come.
The MITB has become a fixture at WrestleMania and is one of the highlights of the card, but nothing will compare to the debut at WrestleMania 21.
10. Edge & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz, WrestleMania 2000
These three tag-teams have had excellent matches with one another, but TLC 2 is when they all put everything on the line.
An impressive match-up which featured Edge's huge spear on Jeff Hardy, the Swanton from the ladder on Bubba Ray Dudley, and ended with the first Tag Team title reign of Edge and Christian.
This match will forever stick out in my mind because it showcased Tag-Team wrestling and taking risks, two thing that have become a lost art in recent years.
9. Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels, WrestleMania XIX
Prior to the huge feud these two had in 2008, HBK and Y2J had a knock-down drag out bout at WrestleMania XIX. A match that pitted the childhood hero against the loyal follower, Shawn and Chris literally stole the show with their performance.
During the match, it was pretty obvious that Jericho idolized HBK as their moves were similar. It was almost like looking at mirror images as the match picked up.
Crisp moves, high flying action, great ring mechanics, and a surprise ending made this match an excellent 'Mania bout.
8. Kurt Angle vs. Eddie Guerrero, WrestleMania XX
Though the triple threat match was a great bout, I always had a soft spot for this match.
Both of these men were on top of their game in this match-up and it was great to see these two showcase their talents in one of the main events at WrestleMania.
Eddie and Kurt were classic in the bout, but it was Latino Heat's wily in his "underhanded tactics" that stole the match from Kurt. Plus the unlacing of the boot to get out of the Ankle Lock was pure genius.
This match will probably never get the credit it deserves due to it sharing a card with a great World Heavyweight Title bout, but it's still one of my favorites.
7. The Undertaker vs. Randy Orton, WrestleMania 21
The Legend vs. The Legend Killer.
Randy Orton vs. The Undertaker matched a icon that had never been beaten against a brash, arrogant up and comer looking to make a huge splash at the big stage.
Many people thought that this would be the year that Undertaker's streak would end, but once again, Taker beat the young lion. Out of all 16 bouts Undertaker has had, this one is my favorite.
6. The Rock vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, WrestleMania XIX
These two have had many epic battles, but this one was my favorite.
It would be The Rock and Austin's last match together at WrestleMania and these two did not disappoint. No titles were on the line, it was a battle about pride and to prove who simply was the better man.
The over 15 minute match was filled with false finishes, taunts, each superstar using their opponents finishers, and ended with The Rock finally beating Austin on the grandest stage of the all.
5. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart, WrestleMania X
The epic brother vs. brother match-up that was without a doubt a classic.
It is often said that the best matches of Bret's career were against his brother, Owen, and this bout proved that theory absolutely correct. Both men showed excellent technical skills, crisp moves, and perfect ring psychology.
The end saw the younger Hart pick up the victory and go on to rub the victory in his brother's face until their bout at Summerslam.
4. Shawn Michaels vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, WrestleMania XIV
The match that led to the beginning of the Austin Era in the WWF.
The two boys from Texas had a bout for the ages in Beantown. A match that had been building for several months didn't disappoint (well, except for Mike Tyson's horrible quick count at the end), and fans were treated to a match between an icon and future Hall of Famer.
No one would've predicted that the wild card in all of this would be Tyson, who claimed his allegiance to DX in the weeks prior.
Ultimately, he stuck with his "favorite wrestler" and helped Stone Cold gain the victory, then knocked out the Heart Break Kid with a vicious punch.
Little would we know that this match would set the course of the WWF for years to come and make Austin a household name.
3. The Rock vs "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, WrestleMania X8
Icon vs. Icon. Hall of Famer vs Future Hall of Famer.
This match was a symbolic passing of the torch and everyone loved it. All of the elements of an instant classic were packed into this bout, and although I'm not a big fan of Hulk Hogan, he did hold his in the match against "The Great One".
Rock proved to be the better man that night, much to the dismay of the Canadian fans, but I commend both men for putting on a match that stole the show.
2. Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels, WrestleMania XII
The infamous 60-minute Iron Man Match were the Boyhood Dream finally came true.
I have seen this bout over and over and loved it each time. These two went through an hour of pure hell and ultimately it was a stalemate.
Neither man could gain a pin or submission over the other, and it's one of few (if any) Iron Man matches to go to a sudden death.
With a sudden superkick to the chops, HBK finally achieved his first WWE Championship reign, but the feud between these two wouldn't be over.
Although most will remember the Montreal Screwjob which happened later that year, this bout still ranks a one of the best matches in WWE history.
1. Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar, WrestleMania XIX
One is an Olympic gold medalist, the other a former NCAA Champion.
Both have achieved accolades in wrestling prior to stepping in the squared circle, and at WrestleMania 19, they did battle in one of the best bouts in WrestleMania history.
It's hard to headline a card that features a battle between HBK and Y2J, a street fight between Hogan and Vince, and the final meeting of Austin and Rock, but these two men stepped up to the plate and delivered a main event garnered a standing ovation from the nearly 60,000 at Safeco Field.
Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar gelled so well together. Impressive chain wrestling, incredible mat techniques, some good spots, and action that kept you on the edge of your seat, you couldn't help but cheer for both men.
It was a pure wrestling battle at its finest and it was taking place at the grandest stage of them all.
A match of this caliber, starring two decorated amateur wrestlers, would never happen again, and this is why it is my favorite WrestleMania match-up.
So now I ask you, the loyal reader. What are your favorite WrestleMania matches?